Brothers Jaydon and Kiaron Lad and their mum, Anjuna, are well past the half-way mark in their quest to run and cycle 300km to raise funds for the Friends of Queen Elizabeth’s (FQE) charity.
Inspired by Kiaron’s success in raising money for the NHS during last year’s lockdown in a fundraising event created by QE’s Director of Sport, Jonathan Hart, the Lad family members set themselves the challenge of covering 100km each before this year’s FQE Founder’s Day on Saturday 19th June.
So far, they have successfully overcome near-freezing temperatures, illness and technical issues (a malfunctioning tracking app and bike speedometer) as they have clocked up the miles towards their ambitious target.
Headmaster Neil Enright said: “Sadly, as in 2020, this year’s Founder’s Day will have to be a virtual event. The Founder’s Day Fete, organised by FQE, is usually our single biggest annual fundraiser, bringing in around £20,000 to help us provide state-of-the-art facilities and increased opportunities for all our pupils. Last year, thanks to the sterling efforts of many across the Elizabethan community, we successfully reached that target.
“I commend the Lad family on their efforts on FQE’s behalf and wish them well as they seek to complete their ambitious challenge. As we look forward to the day itself, I hope many will sponsor them and will also back the exciting fundraising activities we are planning.”
Jaydon, of Year 7, said: “During lockdown, both the School and my parents stressed the importance of staying active and exercising (outdoors if possible) in order to look after our mental and physical health. We were keen to do something that would provide a challenge – so nothing too easy and straightforward, but then on the other hand nothing too difficult.
“My brother has been going out running and has also inspired our mum to take it up. Not being a fan of long-distance running myself, I thought I could join them on my bicycle, and, from there, the idea of raising money for the School was born.”
It was, said Jaydon, a challenge which fulfilled the desired ‘SMART’ criteria, since it was Specific, Measurable (using the speedometer and apps), Achievable, Realistic and Timely (if steady progress was maintained, they should have sufficient time to complete it before the Founder’s Day deadline).
Venturing out mostly at weekends, the Lad trio got off to a strong start, covering 31.76km between them on their first excursion.
It has not always been easy. Jaydon initially found it difficult to adjust his speed to that of the runners, and, on week 2, in addition to his “not really feeling it”, his speedometer started displaying in mph instead of kph, necessitating a little mental arithmetic to make the conversion on the fly. A few days later, Kiaron, of Year 9, and his mum headed out again, but Jaydon felt unwell and stayed in bed, making up the distance missed with his own solo effort a few days later.
The three’s longest distance came the day after Jaydon’s 12th birthday when, in honour of the occasion, his mum suggested they try to cover 12km each. They duly hit this target, with a combined total of 37.01km.
Two days later, they were out again. “I was expecting another slow bike ride today, but boy was I wrong!” reported Jaydon in his fundraising diary. “As we were only aiming for 5km, my mum and my brother were looking at trying to beat their previous run times and were running faster than normal.” Both of them achieved it.
That speedy effort took the total for their first seven runs and rides to 183.63km, which leaves them well set to meet their overall goal of covering the 300km on or before Saturday 12th June, the weekend before Founder’s Day.
- To sponsor the Lad family, simply visit the Virtual Founder’s Day JustGiving page which has just been set up, mentioning ‘The Lads 300km’ in any accompanying message.